Friday, May 27, 2005

Lambsquarters are everywhere but small yet. Nevertheless I need to pull out a bunch now to make room for other things. And they must drain out some of the nutrientrs from the plants they appear with. They're all over spots of the garlic, and the irises! I'm always glad to see them: #1 they indicate a good soil, at least it's high in nitrogen, #2 they make the most delicious cooked green. And they're good in salads too! They take a bit of work processing but it's fun and medative. The leaves are small but with a compost bucket at hand, the good parts can go into another bowl for washing. Or sometimes, if I pick them in the morning, but don't have much time, I just fill a bowl with cold water and stick them in roots and all; that evening when I have more time I can pluck the leaves and wash them.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

The peas are growing and I finally got around to putting up the trellis netting. What a wonderful invention that was. It's a heavy duty nylon mesh that you can hang between stakes. I guess you can staple them to wood stakes, but they are most conveniently used with the metal stakes that those little grippers that you can hang the mesh on. I bought the trellis netting at least seven years ago and have re-used it every year for peas, snow peas, and cucumbers. It's so easy to work with--it's quite amazing. It helps to put it up when the air is fairly still. Well, I always enjoyed untangling things, and they do get a little tangled in storage though I try to fold them neatly at the end of each year. On an unwindy evening like today, I took the pieces out of storage and laid them in the grass, so as to pick out pieces of the best length. On previous years, I've cut off extra ends with scissors. Last year I actually used little bits of twine to tie together two shorter pieces. I might actually have to buy more trellis netting this year (or use more stakes?) but I still think that's pretty good. Growing the tall types of peas and cucumbers up vertically saves a lot of space, and gives the veggies plenty of air to deter some diseases.

Been picking radishes which I always sow together with the carrots. Carrots always need some thinning, so picking the radishes starts off the thinning. The radishes grow quickly and are so cheerful to see coming up. They're a nice touch in the salad.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Yet another reason to allow deer hunting: "In places that have had very limited or no deer hunting, native plant losses are four times greater than those open to deer hunting," Dr. Rooney [Tom Rooney of University of Wisconsin] said. "The deer population has been growing steadily since the 1960's. They are having a profound effect on the spring ephemerals and other wildflowers." ("Forest's Colorful Jewels in a Fight for Their Lives" New York Times, May 17, 2005)

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Found a horde of little dill plants that had re-seeded themselves from last year. Most of them are right in my path. Pulled up a few all the way to the roots, and then inside put them in a little shot glass with water to keep on the counter and remind me to use dill on this and that--sandwiches, salads, omelet, asparagus, whatever.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Living with the weeds

More salad greens all the time now! Lambsquarter are sprouting thick on certain beds. They're fantastic when they're big, so why not pick the biggest of the sprouts now to add to salads. Keep doing that until you need to put something else into that bed. By early June almost everything will be planted, so just pick the lambsquarters by then, and the biggest ones before that.

Which is also what I do with the lettuces and other greens that I sowed in early April.

Reading the news or hearing it on the radio. I got a question: the reporters report that when some guy (usually a guy) gets pulled over for some minor traffic infraction, or the police come knocking at the door (without a search warrant), and the suspect gives them permission to search their house or car. My question: why do they give them permission? My suspicion: there is a threat involved.